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Wednesday, April 4, 2001 about 3:00 pm

Hmmm ... What's This?

Thus far, Marie has received no communication or response
from Southwest Baptist University or any of its agents or
associates since her letters to the Southwest Baptist University
trustees during their February 12-13, 2001 meeting.  

This morning, however, we have a report of an odd (unanswered)
phone call.

The caller id identified the caller as an insurance agent from

Pleasant Hope -- a Polk County town a few minutes' drive
from Bolivar.

The agent's insurance company apparently has a large corporate
branch in Bolivar itself.

So ... what is this about?

There has been no written inquiry from this agent, and Marie
has no way of confirming if this phone call is, in fact, related
to these negotiations or not.  

Marie has been lied to and about -- on numerous occasions --
and is more than a little hesitant to become involved in an
"unmonitored" and "unwitnessed" discussion with anyone
related to Southwest Baptist University.

Can any of these be trusted to handle the situation maturely
and responsibly ... or will they revert to corrupt, hostile,
threatening, and underhanded tactics once again?

Understandably, any transaction must be witnessed and
(at least partially) public.

This afternoon, we will be attempting to verify the nature of
this (and several other calls).

This has, however, highlighted the painfully obvious problem
that this situation will almost certainly require the intervention
of the Missouri Baptist Convention trustees.

As Marie said in a letter to friends:

   "Perhaps among the entire fifty pastors and lay leaders which
   comprise the board, we can find a few honest and godly men
   or women who will assure that this is settled as reasonably
   as possible.

   It is not only a matter of forgiveness: It is a matter of mature
   and prudent conduct.

   As it is, I have seen no sign of real change in the demeanor
   or behavior of the primary individuals involved.  

   Am I alone in this observation?  Have any of you seen any
   appreciable alteration for the better in the way business is
   conducted at SBU?

   To attempt to negotiate under such circumstances is to expect
   to drink sweet water from a salt ocean and pluck figs from
   from a thorn tree.
   How is this to be accomplished?  

   I have no doubt that Jesus can walk upon the churning water,
   calm the raging seas with a gentle word, and change the water into
   wine ... but, how can even He walk amid such churning hatred,
   calm such fearful rage ... and change such unwilling hearts?

   Nonetheless, I believe.

   I believe in the possible, but, even more, I believe in the impossible --
   for how else could God become like one of His creatures ... and
   His creatures become like Him?